Description: Bred to guard livestock, this breed has a serious independent streak. Maremma Sheepdogs are friendly, loyal, sober, determined, brave, intelligent, dignified, and levelheaded and make good watchdogs without being excessive barkers. These dogs are affectionate without being dependent.
These dogs can be slightly reserved with strangers and will not permit anyone without a right to be on the property of their family/owners/handlers to step foot thereon.
Remember the Maremma Sheepdog’s independence. It will not follow commands slavishly, especially if does not see the point to it. Mutual respect must be fostered in training.
Height: Dogs: 25.5 - 28.5 ins ( 65 - 73 cms );
Females: 23.5 - 26.5 ins (60 - 68 cms ).
Weight: Dogs: 77 - 99 lbs ( 35 - 45 kgs );
Females: 66 - 88 lbs (30 - 40 kgs)
Colors: Solid white. Shades of ivory, pale orange or lemon are tolerated but only in certain limits.
Coat: Very well furnished. Hair long, rather harsh. Slight waviness is tolerated but only in certain limits.
Temperament: Courageous, intelligent, sturdy, proud
With Children: Yes, very protective, also with children's friends once he gets used to them. Best if the owner makes a formal introduction. He objects to strange children being physical with his children.
With Pets: Yes, he was bred to care about sheep and goats. Quite tolerant with family's pets. Trouble is to be over food. If more than one dog is kept it is important to feed separately.
Special Skills: Family pet and herding guard-dog.
Watch-dog: Very high. Intuitive, watchful and has a strong sense of territory. Bark a lot. Unsociable and reserved with strangers.
Guard-dog: Very high. Incomparable. Might guards you too much. He has strong guarding instincts. Destructive to intruders.
Care and Exercise: Exceptionally clean in his habits. Brushing once a week. Dry shampoo when necessary. Bath would damage the undercoat. Needs no training for guarding.
Training: House training easy. Social and obedience training is a necessity with a dog of this size and it has to start early. He must be heavily socialized before the age of 6 months and must get used to meeting strangers. A 10 months puppy may weight 100 pounds! By the first month, working puppy dogs should get in touch with some subjects of the flock to develop their senses of smell. They must be involved in working with the stock before the sixth months.
Learning Rate: Medium. Has to learn very young. After he is slow in responding to a command.
Activity: Medium. Puppies are large and active and their growth rate is fast. Free running will be especially beneficial for muscle development.
Living Environment: Rural is the best or suburban with a big garden with enclosure. Quite happy to be out of doors in all weathers.
Health Issues: Very healthy, may suffer from hip dysplasia and eye disease.
Life Span: 10 - 14 Years
Litter Size: 6 - 10
Country of Origin: Italy
History: This dog belongs to the stock of the large White dogs of central Europe. It arrived from the Middle East. He has an history in Italy that can be traced back over 2000 years. He was already described by the roman Varrone (116 B.C.) in Rerum Pastoralis. Two regions in Italy have always claimed this dog as their own, the Maremma and the Abruzzo, hence its native title " Maremmano Abruzzese".
Class: Flock Guarding